A former Spanish colony with historical links to continental Europe, Equatorial Guinea achieved independence in 1968, but still retains this European influence in its architecture and language – the official languages being Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Religion plays a large part in national life, with 93% of the population describing themselves as Christian, mostly practicing Roman Catholics. However, indigenous languages and beliefs still have a role in modern life, particularly for ethnic groups. Aboriginal languages such as Fang, Bube, Enga, Ndowe and others are seen as an integral part of the national culture that must be preserved. Many Equatorial Guineans take part in ancient customs within their communities, including music and storytelling.
National bank holidays are held on the President’s birthday (5 June), the Freedom Day (3 August), the Day of the Constitutional Chart (15 August) and the Independence Day (12 October). Religious bank holidays are held on New Year’s Day, Easter Holy Week, Corpus Christi Feast, Immaculate Conception Feast and Christmas Day. Labour Day (1 May) is an international bank holidays observed in Equatorial Guinea.*
* When any of these bank holidays fall on a non-working day, the holiday will be moved to the following working day.